Thursday, January 29, 2009

I Almost Forgot to Breathe

If I had a New Year's resolution (which I don't) it would be to breathe more consciously. Breathing, I realize, happens whether I think about it or not. But I definitely need more of those intentional breaths, the ones that help you reduce stress, allow you to employ that "3-second rule" when you're about to do something stupid, or prevent you from becoming that mom who "losses it." (she's the mom you notice in various public places who is yelling at her kids and you think: thank goodness I'm not like that, without knowing what circumstances led to her meltdown, and then, in an act of karma, you become that same awful mother the next day or next hour).

Perhaps it was one of those episodes (maybe, maybe not, I refuse to disclose) that led me to believe I need to take time for a few extra deep breaths in my day. I've done my research. I know the benefits. I've even been a student of meditation (before kids, when daily meditating was conceivable). If only I could find more time to be still. But I have what meditators call a "Monkey Mind." It takes an inordinate amount of time to practice this stillness. If taking time for meditation, even time to breathe, were a New Year's resolution I would have failed. 

Carving out time for meditation or deep breathing seems unattainable. So then, would it be an oxymoron to try to multitask conscious breathing into my day? Well, leave it to me to try. Here are the places/times I'm going to try to take three deep breaths:

1) In the shower. Even though I feel I should strive to take shorter, water-conserving showers, I love to linger. If I had a good reason to linger, I can justify the extra time.

2) In the car after leaving preschool drop off. Getting out the door is always hectic for me. Preschoolers have absolutely NO sense of urgency. We are always late. By the time I've signed them into class I feel drained and in need of oxygen.

3) Anytime between 5 pm and 8 pm or when my husband gets home, whichever comes first. This is because "night time" mama, is a decidedly different person from "morning mama" (have you seen "United States of Tara" yet?) I am so fun, and loving and patient in the morning. My kids really like me. By nightfall, I don't even like me. I'm hoping I might literally be able to breathe new life into me.

Can I do it? Can I make deep and conscious breathing a habit? I'm going to multi-task my way toward it. And then I'm going to take the next step to make time for silence, like Miz Fit suggested on Monday.

Do you take time for a few deep breaths everyday? And if you're a meditating mama, let us know your secret for success so I can get around to taming that Monkey Mind of mine.


Charlotte said...

Ooooh - you are going to love my new Experiment come Monday;) I picked it because I am bad at this exact thing! (Okay, did I just say I'm bad at breathing?!? Yes, yes I did.)

Kara said...

And I should add that YAWNING doesn't count as deep breathing...

Crabby McSlacker said...

I so have this problem too!!!

I have totally justified giving up on my meditation attempts with the idea that I can just do some conscious breathing when I get the chance, and then I NEVER REMEMBER.

Rachel said...

Hey girl, right there with you on the breathing. The only time it's quiet here is at 6am.

Right there with you on getting kids to school. 4 lunches, home cooked oatmeal, and my PE lesson set up by 830 is enough to have a coronary upon signing the kids in! Worst time of my day!

Good luck! (obviously there is no meditating going on here)

Sue said...

I guess I am lucky and my husband get morning kid shift :-) I also seem to have ceased breathing since motherhood hit - I like your breath in the shower idea - it kind of comes naturally to me (that is when I get to shower alone in peace and quiet without a 2 year old audience)

jamie said...

during random times of the day I take huge deep breaths, out of no where. my boyfriend looks at me like I'm crazy... but you're right, sometimes you forget to breathe.